Today, Andy and I did the Blackmount.
It was very similar to the Lui 4 the previous day, except we had good weather all day. The Blackmount are a little more committing, so I made sure to keep them for a good day.
We dropped a car off at Inveroran, and headed up to the Glen Coe ski centre. I've been these hills once before, in 2010, and did them across two days. Most people do them like this, in two groups of two, but I wanted to do the full traverse in a day. Having been on them just once, I feel like I've forgotten how it feels to be on top of them. The Blackmount Munros were a fascinating one for me, because although I've ticked them off the Munros list in the past, I've never really felt like I knew them.
Andy and I polished off Mealla' Bhuiridh (#1) in good time, 1h 20m. This hill is known mainly for it's ski centre, and was the subject of an inspiring music and photography collaboration in the past few years. Have a look and a listen: http://www.spad.org.uk/music/meall-a-bhuiridh/
Andy and I sped over to Creise (#2) and over to Clach Leathad. We were making good time, now we had to get to Stob Ghabhar. I've been to the summit of Stob Ghabhar, but it's a multi-faceted peak: it's got multiple ridges casting off in every direction, encolsing steep and empty glens. Although not especially high by Scottish standards, it is one of the more enigmatic mountains, sprawling and wild, and it would take a lot of exploration to see every aspect of this peak. I don't really feel like I 'know' this one.
There's a lot of small twists and turns on the way to the top, so I was glad that we got clear conditions all the way up. I got my summit panorama on top. Perhaps one day I'll come back and explore it more.
For now, we had one summit left; Stob a' Choire Odhair, a relatively simple peak. We descended down Stob Ghabhar, over the wee Aonach Eagach, and climbed the west ridge of Stob a' Choire Odhair by a steady plod. The summit was in mist.
I mentioned in my Ben Lui blog post that I'd spent the whole day in a comfortable state of calm. I was very glad that this mood persisted today, too. The Blackmount traverse is a meaty day, but I felt calm once more, and importantly, inspired by the place I was in. There hasn't been so much of that going on recently, but I've had a happy few days and I'm so hopeful that it continues.
Tomorrow, I head down to Arrochar to climb the four Munros there. They'll be the end of the Southern Highlands section, a chunk of the walk I'll be glad and sorry to leave in equal measure. I need to move on now, I've been in the one region for so long. But I've also enjoyed darting around isolated peaks, stopping by Tyndrum, Glen Coe and Killin.
Tomorrow, I'll put in a big effort in on the hard hills of Arrochar, and then all going well, I'll take a rest day on the 30th - just as well, as Rush are playing Glasgow in the evening!
But I must go for now. I've got a tent to set up and meal to prepare - and others would like on this single computer in the Bridge of Orchy hotel! Hopefully I'll be able to report back a success trip tomorrow.